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DBN Mailbag: Josh Gordon's Rookie Contract, and Website History

It's time for the week two of our Dawgs By Nature mailbag. It was a slow week at first, but questions started pouring in at the end of the week about the Cleveland Browns' wide receiver situation, thanks to the drafting of Baylor's Josh Gordon. In part one of our mailbag session, I talk about how I became the head editor of this site, as well as how the rookie contract for Gordon might turn out. Like last week, there will be a "part two" mailbag session later tonight.

Rob: "I've always been curious of this. How did you become the head editor of the best SBN blog, Dawgs By Nature?"

Chris: "In 2003, I founded a general football news/opinion site called "PFCritics," which was short for Pro Football Critics. For those of you who send me email, you may have recognized that I still use I stopped focusing on the site at the beginning of 2008. Going to the Wayback machine, if you're interested, you can look at the various "layouts" I had for PFCritics over the years:

Layout 1
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In late 2005, I caught on to the Cleveland Indians blog on SB Nation, "Let's Go Tribe," as a reader. SB Nation was a very small network at that time, and I noticed they would have links on the sidebar that said something like, "interested in writing for SB Nation? Send us an email of interest." At the time, SB Nation only had about four or five NFL blogs. I contacted Tyler (one of the founders) with my "resume" so to speak, which was my writing at PFCritics. After a trial run for a couple of days, I was asked to come up with the name of the site. "Dawgs By Nature" popped into my mind right away, and they set everything up. The site launched on March 2, 2006. I had a co-writer who they assigned me, a female with the username "gennifer6," but she just kind of disappeared eventually.

As I became more invested in writing about the Browns, it became too difficult to juggle PFCritics, hence why I stopped managing it in 2008. Today, it would be a much different process to become a lead blogger at SB Nation since the company has grown so much since then (and, they pretty much have every major team covered already). I got lucky that I got in when I did, but on the same note, I don't think I've done too shabby of a job.

I've always had an interest in reviving PFCritics in some capacity. The issue is that there are so many football sites out there already, so I would need to come up with some idea that fulfills a niche."

Josh: "When it comes to salary for the supplemental draft and the rookie salary structure, how does Josh Gordon get slotted? Do the Browns go by last years second round slot 37th, the supplemental draft slot 34th, or is there a different structure for the supplemental draft?"

Chris: "This comes from the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement:

In the event that the NFL holds a Supplemental Draft in addition to its annual Draft, adjustments shall be made to the Total Rookie Compensation Pool, Year-One Rookie Compensation Pool, the Club’s Total Rookie Allocation and the Club’s Year-One Rookie Allocation in a manner to be agreed upon by the NFL and the NFLPA.

Other than that, I did not find any language that addressed how to handle the supplemental draft. A few days ago, Andrew Brandt of ESPN tweeted the following:

It sounds like Brandt is speaking in generalities, but the difference between No. 34 and No. 37 really shouldn't be that much. Take a look at the player's taken in April's draft around those positions:

No. 33: WR Brian Quick. Signed for 4 years, $5.386 million, with $2.357 million signing bonus.
No. 35: LB Courtney Upshaw. Signed for 4 years, $5.296 million, with $2.292 million signing bonus.
No. 37: OL Mitchell Schwartz. Signed for 4 years, $5.170 million, with $2.206 million signing bonus.

Brandt was general about the overall contract ($5 million), but the signing bonus ($2.3 million) would fall between picks 33 and 35 above. Note: I could not list pick No. 34 above, because tight end Coby Fleener has not signed with the Colts yet."

Jim: "How will Josh Gordon's contract work, will he count against the 2013 rookie pool money? Do we actually know what the 2013 rookie pool will be or will he have some kind of a year deal then go into the rookie pool next year?"

Chris: "See my answer to Josh above, particularly the section quoted from the CBA. Since it says adjustments will be made to the pool (but it does not reference anything about the following year), I would guess that he counts against the 2012 rookie pool money."